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“Weed the People” Directors Look for Funding

A pot leaf and prescription bottle make up the logo for the "Weed The People," a documentary by Ricki Lake and Appy Epstein.


“Weed the People” Directors Look for Funding

A new documentary by filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake is raising awareness about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, particularly for children.

According to the “Weed the People” site, the movie, “looks beyond pot-activist propaganda and politics to reveal the legitimate science behind cannabis medicine and the compelling stories of ordinary people whose lives are inescapably caught up in the controversy.”

Following the tremendous success of their last documentary, “The Business of Being Born,” which takes a look at modern maternity care in America, Lake and Epstein hope to nurture lasting change with “Weed the People.”

The directors are asking for help to finish the film and have started an Indiegogo campaign to fund the rest of the filmmaking process. To date, the campaign has funded over $55,000 of their 100k goal. According to the funding page, the actual filming is about 30 percent completed and the majority of the funding will go to post-production, offline editing and the production staff.

Ricki’s journey with cannabis began when her husband was looking for alternative therapies for his grandfather who had bone cancer. They came across research on CBD oil and, after realizing the potential benefit of this medicine, began documenting their experiences and those of others who are attempting to navigate the world of medical cannabis.

One of the main focuses of the film is Sophie Ryan. At 8 months old Ryan was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Doctors prescribed chemotherapy as the only course of treatment. Devastated parents Tracy and Josh feared western medicine alone would not save their daughter and began looking for alternative medicines.

Lake told the Daily Beast: “I believe this is a cause that will affect all of us, as medical cannabis is showing significant benefits for autoimmune diseases, PTSD, cancer, seizure disorders and MS, just to name a few, without the billion-dollar marketing budgets of pharmaceutical companies, the only chance we have of making this medicine safe and federally legal is by using our own voices to change the policies and demand clinical trials.”

The film will take a look at cannabis medicine with high CBD (cannabidiol), a compound in cannabis that has significant medical effects, but does not create the same potentially dysphonic or lethargic feelings of THC. The reduced THC content has made high-CBD strains an appealing option for children that has shown very promising research for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy and other neurological disorders, according to Project CBD, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to raising awareness about CBD.

CBD strains such as Charlotte’s Web, created by the Stanley family, have made a lot of waves in the push for medical cannabis legalization. The strain, classified by some as hemp rather than marijuana because of its low THC content, has been approved for use in Florida.

Charlotte’s Web will ensure that children in Florida who suffer from seizures and other debilitating illnesses will have the medication needed to improve their quality of life,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said of the state’s CBD bill.

Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in Florida will be on the ballot this November.

What do you think? Do you want to see this documentary get finished? Tell us in the comments below.



  1. ron sword

    April 13, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Yes, people need to understand Medical Marijuana, and it needs to be legal without the over restrictive uses for it. Muscular Dystrophy patients, young and old, are quickly finding out it is more effective, safer, cheaper, and helps dramatically with many of their issues, and clearly improve their quality of life. Why would something that beneficial be prohibited for people to use, especially for seriously ill patients.

  2. Erick Santiesteban

    June 28, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Yes I think is a awesome documentary

  3. Cherrie

    June 28, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Yes this film needs to come to life as it is yet another form of educating the public on this subject. Films like this are a great tool to aid in the proper educating in the use of natural medicines in healthcare and can improve lives, help in healthy living, and can offer so many products that will change our lives & world if only people will learn the truth. I fully 100% support this film and can’t wait to see it being used in the ongoing education of the public!

  4. mounir

    June 27, 2014 at 9:35 am

    welcome to the weed fields in morocco to film a part of your movie i’ll be your host

  5. LaQuisha McKinnie

    June 27, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I would absolutely watch this documentary! I hope they get the funding.

  6. Gabriella Beck

    June 27, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Yes. I am very interested in seeing this film come to life. I believe it will benefit those who are not educated on the subject. In addition it will broaden the use of natural medicines in healthcare and hopefully the every day lives of those who are suffering from illness. I fully support this film. 100% yes.

  7. Peter

    June 27, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Sure. I will buy that vaporizer and support that film. Sign me up.

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